NZ Police Charge 7 Men, Seize Meth, Cash & Assets

Seven men between the ages of 33 and 57 are before the courts following a series of search warrants across the North Island.

The warrants – in Whanganui, Hamilton, and Auckland – were the culmination of Operation Gallium, a long-term investigation into the activities of a group manufacturing methamphetamine in remote rural locations.

Police located 19.32kg of methamphetamine and a number of pre-cursor chemicals and equipment associated with large, commercial-scale methamphetamine manufacture.

Also located was other class A and B controlled drugs including LSD and GBL, a firearm, and a significant quantity of cash.

A number of high-value vehicles have also been seized. In total 19 vehicles, five motorcycles, two boats, two jet skis, and a caravan have been seized during the course of this investigation.

The methamphetamine seized had an estimated street value of $6.7 million and could have contributed more than $21m in social harm.

Police are grateful for the assistance of NZ Defence Force, in the form of air support, that enabled the operation’s success in the remote, rugged Whanganui River area.

Detective Inspector Albie Alexander stated that the methamphetamine seizure is significant for the Central region, and shows the importance and strength of the ongoing cooperative work being undertaken by National Groups, District Investigators and our sector partners.

“The work targets those who illegally accumulate assets and wealth through the sale and manufacture of illegal drugs,” says Detective Inspector Alexander.

“This type of offending undermines the wellbeing of our communities by creating significant social harm and the New Zealand police are committed to disrupting and dismantling drug networks identified.”

Those before the courts are:

* Three men, aged 47, 55 and 57, have been remanded in custody to reappear in Whanganui District Court on 30 May 2023.

* A 33-year-old man has a warrant issued for his arrest by Hamilton District Court.

* A 41-year-old man is due to appear in Manukau District Court on 24 March.

* A 50 year old man is due to re appear in the Hamilton District Court on 5 May 2023

* A 57 year old man is due to appear in Manukau District Court on 15 March 2023.

The investigation is ongoing and further arrests can’t be ruled out.

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